Ride away your fines at the Degenstein Community Library

A library in central Pennsylvania is helping people pay off their overdue fines while encouraging fitness at the same time.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Natasha Matthews spent part of the afternoon riding an exercise bike, but Matthews is not at the gym. She’s at the Degenstein Community Library in Sunbury.

“It’s different, it’s fun,” said Matthews.

Matthews is participating in the library’s new program called “ride away your fines.” If adults have overdue fines on their accounts, they can ride the stationary bike –15 minutes on the bike erases $1 in fines.

“We want to stop any barriers from them using the library, plus we want to provide some kind of innovative, energetic way to get them reading and promote health and literacy at the same time,” said library director Melissa Rowse.

Rowse says people can still check out books if they are participating in this program.

“For our area, sometimes $3, $4 in fines, it’s a lot of money. They can come in a couple of times a week and ride the bike and still be able to check out items from the library.”

There’s a similar program for kids called “read away the fines” – 15 minutes of reading a book at the library takes away $1 in fines.

“They’ll come in and they’ll read and then they come over to the desk and say, ‘I read Miss Melissa!’ We’ll take $1 off their accounts,” Rowse said.

Ginger Steinhart think the program is smart.

“I think it’s a great idea. I think it may even could help people enjoy it or help people want to do more of the bicycle.”

You can register to ride away your fines at the Degenstein Community Library’s circulation desk.

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